How to Blog

Attempts at Online Writing.

HES on an IBM 2250 Mod 4 | Source

Attempts at Online Writing.

Most often, what I see when I visit a blog with an exciting premise or topic, what I find is an introduction post that was written months or years ago. If I’m lucky, there’s also a second post apologizing for not writing more frequently.

Depending on what statistics you look at, there are an estimated 150–200 million blogs in the world. Only a fraction of those contain actual posts, and only a fraction of those contain frequently updated content.

— What is the reason for this?

The answer most often is due to feeling demotivated. It takes work to create original content, more than people can think initially. In addition to this, people can feel further deterred that their work receives little-to-no attention. After this, people consciously or unconsciously move on, neglecting or procrastinating to write anything more.

I think that there’s a perception that creating a blog is not only easy, but a lofty source of secondary, passive income. This is not the case in reality.

If you want to be a successful blogger — in the most accepted definition of “success” regarding blogging — you have to have extensive marketing knowledge and work hard to sell yourself. You have to research You have to reach out to a multitude of different bloggers and pitch yourself. You have to be diligent on social networks, write e-books and create online courses/webinars. It can take hours of work per week.

This isn’t what most people want to hear — most blogs that write about blogging (especially to beginners) try to avoid focusing on how important and necessary marketing is (while doing it diligently themselves).

While this personally disappointed me initially, I do not think it’s a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with teaching yourself marketing skills, and if anything it would prove to be useful in the long-run.

But this isn’t what blogging should be. Idealistically — and perhaps personally — I believe that writing things you’re passionate about is all that matters at the end of the day. That is the definition of successful blogging.

Helpful Tips

  • When embarking on trying to create a new blog, searching how to write non-fiction instead of how to blog. Learn to write well, not how to blog well.

  • Research a specific topic that you sincerely enjoy. You don’t need to be an expert to start writing about it, document your growth from the beginning.

  • Don’t worry about stats in the beginning. As I’ve said before, the law of serendipity states that those who attempt something longer are more likely to find desired results.

  • Reach out to those who write about similar things, but do it for the sake of conversation, not favors.

  • Keep at it. Regardless of metrics, you’ll have produced something meaningful and that will last a long time.